The Djed was the Eqyptian symbol of human, planetary, and cosmic stability, continuity, and regeneration,. As the cosmic axis, it was the "cylinder," the column of light, that linked Earth to the pole star-the still point, or stable point of reference, around which the heavens revolved. To raise the Djed was also to erect the backbone of Osiris, the lunar, underworld, god of regeneration. The Djed represented continuity of nature's cycles, as well as ascension and resurrection of the human spirit.
Historically, the Djed was raised at crucial transitional times between cycles, evoking light and stability to dispel darkness and chaos. Such periods were the annual Winter solstices, the failing years of a reigning monarch or the coronation of a new one. However, according to the texts of the Temple of Horus at Edfu, the Djed served its greatest purpose and revealed its greatest mystery at the ending of one world age, and the beginning of another. Winter solstice, December 21, 1992, according to the ancient calendric reckoning, inaugurates such a period.
The two universal forces that most concerned ancient peoples seem to have been those of cosmos (harmony, and the organized, known order) and chaos (the forces of entropy, confusion, and the unknown). Preserving cosmos and repelling chaos have kept us busy and preoccupied since time immemorial. When the magnetic Center that controls the periphery fails to hold, things fall apart and the chaos that was in the beginning begins to return. Chaos, of course, has always been the most feared of all the primal powers. Beyond the known order--the light of the campfire, the walls of the city, the edge of the forest or horizon--loomed the unknown, the domain of darkness, danger, and demons.
There has never been anything quite like the unknown, of course, for bringing up our fears, and providing a fertile back-drop for our worst projections--especially those of our own "shadow." Being "afraid of one's own shadow" is, in fact, the crux of the whole matter where chaos is concerned. And so it was since primitive times that outsiders were regarded with suspicion, feared, and often hated. In the harsh struggle for survival, the security of one's own kin, clan, or tribe was primary. While alien "others" were always lower or less--"butt-faces" and "barbarians"-- only one's own kind were believed to be the real human beings. At worst, "they" were not fully human and held in contempt as flawed animals, or even demons. For the most part, that which was of the unknown was dealt with by means of superstition and magic. Remnants of these attitudes still prevail today, reflected in class systems, racist attitudes, the separative dogmas of the religious right, and hate crimes.
The world over, ancient and indigenous cultures had an innate sense of themselves as existing at the Center of the universe, and the coherence of their world depended upon maintaining their connection with it. To that end, archetypal symbols --such as circle, spiral, tree, pillar or pole--were magically and ritually employed to preserve essential order. To provide safe space, central space "on call," people learned to do just that. They called upon the four directions, defining the boundaries of sacred space and time to create an instant mix of Center, the directions of above and below forming the central vertical axis that connected heaven and Earth. The Center of the Center was the direction found within each individual.
Every major culture of antiquity revered as sacred its particular version of the World Tree with its roots and branches linking Earth (as matter) and sky (as spirit.) Every sacred mountain became the center of the world, the navel of the Earth, as did every sacred city. This was the holographic model, whereby the center was everywhere and the periphery nowhere.
Out of this context the divine kingship of early cultures became an institution whereby the ruling monarch was the living conduit between heaven and Earth. The person of the god-king himself was the central source and mediator of life, abundance and stability for the entire kingdom. For this reason, when King Arthur was sick, the kingdom fell into decline and disarray. (The word "king" derives from the Indo-European root for "kin," in the sense of family, and "divine procreator"--in which case, I guess it is OK for a Queen to have a "kin(g)-dom.") Unlike American Presidents who, despite a lack of competence can be elected for two terms, rulers of some prehistoric king systems were ritually sacrificed after serving one seven year term, and held personally accountable for acts of Nature such as crop failure, famine, plague, and war1 .
Today, it is believed that we are responsible for our own reality, so we must all be accountable. When an evolving species learns to split the atom and unlock the secrets of nature that fuel the stars, it brings about its own demise if the resultant technology is not harnessed in the service of the planet. Is that what happened in previous cycles? Atlantis? Lemuria? Today, the whole systems that maintain the working harmony of our biosphere are breaking down because we screwed up and disconnected wisdom from knowledge. We have been ripping the web of life to shreds, basically to support profits.
Better we should support prophets instead.
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From the great traditional cultures of the past a number of identical prophecies have survived to warn us, so that we may preserve harmony and avoid catastrophe by acting appropriately to influence the train of events. Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, the African Bushmen, the Kogi of Columbia, the indigenous peoples who gathered at the World Summit in Brazil, issue to us a collective warning: "You are killing the Great Mother. We cannot say when the world will end, but your looting will destroy it." They declare "the changing of the worlds" is close and urge us to revise our perception of reality before it is too late. They tell us we must return to our Center. But this is the root of the problem--Western culture doesn't have one! And this is why we now look back to the past to rediscover what it means in both mythic and practical terms.
The Turning Point
"In the beginning" the One set out to become the many. In ever widening circles of complexity, the great spiral of creation evolved a complete menu out of the primal soup. From the gas that burned the minerals, that cooked the plants, that fed the animals, that in turn fed the humans who analyzed and named everything down to the last quantum particle, the One has indeed become as many as it could possibly be. Now the turning point of history has arrived when matter begins to merge gently back into spirit ,and the many can again become the One. But the spiral has swung so far out it has lost its curvature. The evolutionary journey is supposed to be a round-trip, not a one-way ride to oblivion. Historically, we are at the fork in the road where the choice between two paths must be made. The problem, however, is that under the linear, left-brain, materialistic, patriarchy, the outer reaches of the evolutionary spiral have taken on the forward thrust of a line and the Center is no longer holding.
To facilitate the necessary "turning point" a counter-force must nudge the linear vector ("koyannisqatsi"--world out of balance, according to the Hopi) back on course as a continuing spiral. This is why the feminine, right-brain, conserving principle of the circle has now arisen as the multiple forms of The Goddess, the consciousness of Gaia as the Power of Nature (Earth changes), the Great Mother (Women unite.) Line and Circle, in union, create the spiral--the form of the evolutionary force.
Very few of us today can claim to be one of the "real" human beings because we are still in the striving mode; we are more like "human becomings." Each of us is one of the many that the One has become. Through the mobilizing archetype which gives meaning to symbols of the Center, we evolve back into Oneness. Such a symbol always arises from the depths of the collective unconscious at the conclusion of major historical cycles when primal chaos again threatens to engulf the world. Not everyone perceives the symbol. And out of those who do, few recognize its significance. However, such images are themselves keys or codes that inform our consciousness, whether we understand it with our rational mind or not. The advantage of understanding, however, is that it increases our effectiveness in co-creating and consciously participating in the process that is unfolding.
At this time in history, as chaos again presses in and the cycle draws to a close, the Djed as the oldest known type of the central World Tree, emerges once more into our collective awareness, activating the imagination, appearing in dreams and art as an archetypal image full of mystery and power. It allows the ancient wisdom to work through us, awakening and aligning the divine in each of us with the transcendent Self--and each other. In this way, the many again get to become the One.
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Most, if not all, ancient civilizations shared a comprehension of time as cyclical. This enabled them to plan for the short term, and to predict and prophesy with astonishing accuracy for the long term. This is why the various world prophecies form a coherent whole, and why most archaic traditions share similar cosmologies and eschatologies. Western culture's linear march- of-time model, however, has been the means of our undoing and is responsible for ecological and planetary crisis on a scale unprecedented in human history. So, to understand where we have come from helps us to understand where we are going. The legacy of high wisdom from past and present traditional cultures awaits our comprehension. It is our blueprint to the future; the means of our survival.
The prophecy cycle that began in l945 with the advent of the atomic bomb is predicted to end around the year 2,000. The remaining years until 2012 AD. are designated as a sorting out period known to the Maya as "the beak of time."
The engines of history are roaring, accelerating us, "fast forward," to an evolutionary crossroads, and the choice between two paths. This choice appears throughout many of the ancient prophecies. The linear path vectors off into chaos and annihilation, while the other one spirals on to a new phase of human evolution. Which path have we/will we collectively choose?
The Christian concept of the broad and narrow paths conveys the general idea, whereby the broad path is the way of the world, full of materialistic enticements, greed, and tawdry pleasures. The narrow path is the Christian way, being "in the world but not of it." To those who chose the broad path salvation is still possible, however, if they "repent" and "believe on His [Jesus'] name."
The Hopi Life Plan, carved on a rock at Oraibi, Arizona, spells it out pretty clearly, too. The horizontal path of materialistic white culture is above, the Hopi path in harmony with nature is below. The first vertical line is the original meeting of the two cultures and the opportunity to change paths. The two circles on the lower line are the two world wars. The second vertical line is the last-minute chance to change life paths before the third world purification results in the end of the materialistic path and the continuance of the Hopi one attuned to Nature.
The Great Pyramid contains prophecy in the form of geometric interpretations along a measured time-scale. Ascending and descending passageways both incline at an identical angle of slope. Each symbolizes a choice and direction of life path. Just before the descending passage ends in the pit, there is an opportunity to "get back on track." A tortuous, vertical, tunnel connects with an upper passage leading to the (initiatory) King's Chamber--a dangerous, difficult, but possible climb.
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Mythic themes are emerging as dominant archetypes now because they are becoming real-ized in our collective experience. Myths provide a contextual understanding for our existential predicament, clarifying what is being played out, what our role is, and who we are in the greater scheme of things.
The story of Osiris is in the shamanic tradition, and it begins with Osiris' murder by his evil brother, Set. One version says his body was cast into he river, washed ashore and entombed within a great tree (a type of the Djed) that grew around him. Eventually he was discovered and extricated from the tree by the great goddess Isis. The bare bones of the other version are that his body was dismembered and scattered throughout Egypt, but that after a long and arduous search, Isis retrieved and re-membered his parts. Both accounts end with Isis raising Osiris' spine to a vertical position, "making him stable," and resurrecting him to life by means of the words of power taught her by Thoth, the Master Initiator of Light.
The dismembered parts of Osiris represent the spiritual fragmentation of the human condition. His re-memberment is the restoration of the human spiritual body and the realization of the gnosis. (Seven distinct spiritual bodies comprised the risen "Osiris" body). As such, the raising of Osiris was the central fact in the structure of the Egyptian universe, for each person aspired to become resurrected after death; to become "Osirified"--just as we aspire to become "Christed." In the Egyptian book of the Dead, for example, the chapter on "Making the Transformation Into the God [Osiris] Who Giveth Light in the Darkness" is directed at "uniting the two fighters [Horus and Set, deities who represent the principles of light and darkness] who live in my body, with the enchantment of my utterance . . . raising him that hath fallen [Osiris] . . . I have re-membered him . . . I have overthrown the destroyers . . . I have lighted the darkness." These are noble thoughts, expressed with an eloquence that today still touch one's heart with light and meaning.
The Djed is a pillar, a type of the central World Tree, representing stability, continuity, and regeneration. The Festival of The Raising of the Djed dates back more than 5,000 years to predynastic times--as does the Egyptian Book of the Dead which identifies the Djed as both the backbone of Osiris and the support and backbone of the universe. The Djed, however, is more than just an object; it is a mythic complex that existed long before Osiris emerged from the dark realm of the collective unconscious.
Historically, the Djed was raised at crucial transitional times between cycles, evoking light and stability to dispel darkness and disorder. Such periods were the Winter solstices, the failing years of a reigning monarch or the coronation of a new one. However, according to the texts of the Temple of Horus at Edfu, the Djed served its greatest purpose and revealed its greatest mystery at the ending of one world age and the beginning of another. This is such time!
The Djed is the supreme unifying symbol of all polarities, connecting us to the transcendent reality of the whole, the One. It symbolizes the macro and microcosmic "axis." As the cosmic axis the Djed is the "cylinder," the column of light linking the Earth to the pole star. It represents stability because it aligns the North pole of Earth with the still-point of the revolving "dome" of the heavens--the pole star. Beyond the pole star were/are the realms of the "gods" and higher dimensions of being. In the microcosm, within us, the human axis is the spinal column, the time-tunnel of the transformative journey from the gross materialism of homosapiens to the Self-realization of homoChristos at the crown chakra. It is through this chakra that we, too, are aligned with the energies of the pole star.2
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At a time when the planetary grid (Earth's geometrically arranged energy system web) was understood and, it is believed, consciously administrated by a global network of high initiate engineers, the Djed was a sacred instrument in the powerful technology of "cosmos regeneration" (a domain explored by the work of Reich and Tesla.) From the geodetic and astronomic perspective, the raised Djed is the fixed reference point which makes firm the bond between Earth and sky, evoking geophysical stability at a time of increased potential for Earth changes. And, as we approach the end of the prophecy sequence and the final 20 years of the current cycle, the Djed replaces the prospect of Earth changes and geophysical "pole shift" with that of "pole stability."3
The Djed is being raised again--globally, annually, at the Winter solstice (and various other times--the 1996 Spring equinox, in particular) until the closing of the cycle in 2012AD. Because Egypt is at the center of the Earth's land mass, and the place where the Djed originated around the beginning of the present cycle (3,100BC), it is appropriate that The Raising of the Djed, be reinaugurated at its original site in Egypt. However, readers are reminded that in the holographic model every sacred site, every community gathering, is also the "Center"--as is every individual. Reerrecting the Djed today serves well its ancient purpose, for it is the archetype of stability and continuity for the current transitional phase.
In the ancient Egyptian creation myth the Pillar of Shu (god of atmosphere) was the column of light that separated the union of Earth and Sky, setting them apart and in correct relationship to each other. The dome of the sky overlay the surface of the Earth according to the divine blueprint of creation so that, in the words of Thoth the great Master Initiator of Light, "That which is above is like that which is below."
Today the stars no longer guide our navigation, orchestrate our time-keeping, or pace our planting and harvesting, because we replaced them when we invented the compass, clock, and calendar, to name a few. Over the millennia, we became governed by our own material creations, and our fundamental connection to "all our relations" within the greater whole was lost. Not only was it lost, it was also forgotten.
Although we are now beginning to remember the importance of our connection with the Earth, there is only the faintest glimmer of a reciprocal connection with the heavens. But it is coming. We are approaching it through astrology, through rediscovering the myths of gods/goddesses and celestial archetypes, not to mention the more "grounded" reality of the space program. Raising the Djed in ceremony, with the right consciousness, reestablishes the primordial connection between Earth and Sky, matter and spirit. When we experience our own connection between the two a resounding"Yessss!" will synaptically ricochet throughout the global brain, the morphogenetic field of the planet, (and the Internet.) Our conscious reconnection with the wisdom of our own origins, and the rediscovery of the archaic celestial/terrestrial technologies, initiates us into "whole" consciousness.
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It is possible that the peoples of prehistory may not have been entirely primitive, but were reduced to grubbing around with stones and living in caves after some great global upheaval obliterated all traces of civilization. The clues lie within the myths of history, and within the timeless precincts of sacred rituals preserved by indigenous peoples who know how to access the "mind of Nature." We know that as the wheel of time revolves it allows us to recover buried or repressed psychic structures so as to incorporate the recurring patterns of meaning into the present. In this sense we are reminded that in psychoanalysis the cure is often associated with the recovery of a forgotten memory. But within cyclical time it is not memory that calls up the past, but the past itself that returns4 for healing, completion and apotheosis. As we prepare to catch the wave of the past this time around, the image of the Djed and the World Tree rise into our collective awareness. Through them we may enter once more the precincts of the recurrent golden age.
The Raising of the Djed has been called the "mystery of mysteries."5 It appears to have been a physical ritual with psychospiritual and interdimensional implications--which renders it an event of profound significance for our time. Through its enactment Thoth's words can again come alive--for, performed correctly and at the appropriate geodetic coordinates, it is suggested that the Raising of the Djed is instrumental in the periodic, historic, realignment of the planetary and celestial grid meridians. We believe this realignment is an integral part of the formula for "holon"6 hook-up--the matching of our personal and planetary Light bodies with their overlighting celestial template. There is cause here for deep reflection and inner questing as we set with the concept, allowing its' meaning to percolate throughout the sacred chambers of the heart and the fertile recesses of the collective mind.
Changing our perception of reality, as the indigenous peoples of the world exhort us to, means keeping our ear to the ground for messages of the "planet drum," and our eyes on the horizon for the metaphorical smoke signals. As we approach the turn of the century both the pace of life and the passage of time seem to be accelerating. The time-keeping system of the Maya provides some clues.
In l992, the Maya calendar entered its final 20 years, highlighting an event that was code named "Time Shift" because it marked the beginning of a change in the timing frequencies affecting Earth's evolution. Like a train changing tracks in the shunting yard, this shift (according to the scholarship of Jose Arguelles) is ultimately expected transform our concept of linear, symbolic, time into cyclical, real, time. We know that spiritual causes gestate into physical effects, but we don't know how long the incubation period may be. So the question becomes "how long after a 'time-shift' might it take for the physical counterpart of 'pole-shift' to occur?" We suspect that this is where the Djed factors into the equation.
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The frequency at which matter vibrates has been speeding up, causing an acceleration of personal and planetary karmuppance.7 This, and associated phenomena, are purifying and transforming the world into something considerably more refined than the physical plane as we have come to know it. Like the ice-cube that transforms from frozen solid, to water, to steam, then vapor, the physical world itself is now becoming spiritualized. We are seeing this process unfold as science and prophecy, physics and metaphysics, begin to segue and come into agreement. Increasingly, we can expect to experience the apparent separation between past and future, inner and outer, dreamtime and waking, self and other, as a semipermeable membrane allowing oneness with and flow between.
Hindu yogic teachings explain that as time speeds up synchronicity increases. As awareness begins to stabilize in the higher chakras the polarities within us reconcile. And, we are told, that when the Self is real-ized temporal time ceases to exist altogether! Modern Chaos Theory seems to agree, and asserts that maximal chaos ultimately resolves into synchronicity. So, "no problem!". . .
If the boundary between cosmos and chaos, control and confusion, known and unknown, is a function of perception then that boundary dissolves proportionate to the expansion of our consciousness. "What we see is what we get" because it is our own externalized un-consciousness; our "shadow." This means there is actually nothing outside of ourSelf. All that is unlike love can be released along with the age-old, "us vs. them" program. Getting with the real program means accessing the source of our highest mutual good--the repository of our highest collective wisdom--our higher Selves. We are all more similar than we are different. So, order or chaos, light or dark, like it or not--it is all us!
Osiris "Djedi" was a title of Osiris, as the Great One,8 Lord of the Universe (the universal, Self-generating life principle of the Center--i.e. the transcendent Self). The "Djedi" were the "stable ones"--wisdom keepers of one mind and one spirit who, as initiates of the Osirian mysteries, comprised the living, terrestrial body of the archetypal, celestial Osiris. Contemporary Djedi are self-selecting regenerators of cosmos. They are those who, regardless of race or creed, are awakening to mission in service to the planet and the epochal imperatives of stability, continuity and regeneration.
Egyptologist Sir Wallis Budge quotes the ancient expectation that "Since Osiris was raised to life by the words and ceremonies which Thoth taught Isis, and since Osiris has gained immortality by means of them, these same words and ceremonies will raise us to life and give us immortality also."9 The "secret Books of Thoth" containing those formulae no longer exist. But they are deeply encoded within the repository of our collective dreamtime, informing our DNA and waiting like seeds to be activated in due season by the right evolutionary imperative and guiding initiatory archetype.
It is the world soul and the force of history that now calls for, and causes, the Djed to be raised. Like the flag with its emblem raised aloft in the thick of battle to rally the flagging energies of the army, the Djed is a beacon raised in the battle for the soul of the planet. (Horus and Set are at it again . . .) And, like the warrior heroes who have throughout history stood tall as champions of the many during times of great danger and crisis, the Djedi come forth that the Djed may be raised.
The Djedi sense, and know Osiris's arising as their own. As Osiris awakens from the sleep of the aeon, the Djedi also "rise to the occasion," moving into resonant relationship as the reconstellated members of the collective Osiris. Therefore, as the mighty bones creek and the ancient One stirs, let the Djedi return. This is the historical moment of our awakening and our call. The impulse and the need for us to ritualize these events in global celebration arise, naturally, in resonance with the mythic awakening of the archetype and because it is now alive in each of us.
MoiRa Timms is an archaic-futurist, researcher, author of Prophecies & Predictions, and Beyond Prophecies & Predictions (Ballantine 1994). The above article is excerpted from The Raising of the Djed, a book-in-progress.
Copyright 1994 MoiRa Timms.